Relative symbolic links to standard places.
Today I got bitten again by a facet of Debian/Linux that has a simple
At many places in the Debian distribution, symlinks are made from one
standard location to other standard locations. A perfect example of
this is the symlink of /usr/lib/X11 to "../X11R6/lib/X11". In this
case, both /usr/lib/X11 and /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 are standard locations
that aren't likely to move.
In my situation, because of a lack of diskspace, I have /usr/lib and
/usr/src living on a second hard drive partition, with symlinks from
both to the appropriate places on the other partition.
This creates problems with symlinks like the one above, since the
symlink to "../X11R6/lib/X11" no longer points to the same spot (there
is no X11R6 subdirectory in /usr/lib/.. on my system, but there is a
/usr/X11R6). Attempts to find stuff in /usr/lib/X11 failed until I
redid the relative symlink to an absolute symlink.
Today, I got bitten by PGP, wanting to find a document in
/usr/lib/pgp-us/doc, which is symlinked to ../../doc/pgp-us, a location
that doesn't exist on my system (although the files it wanted were in
/usr/doc/pgp-us, it couldn't find them).
Is there a reason why these (and other) symlinks are relative, instead
of absolute? If so, how can I find them and "fix" them before
something else on my system breaks because of it?
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